Multicomponent Distillation

Before a multicomponent distillation column can be designed, a decision must be made as to the two key components between which it is desired to make the separation. The light key component will be the one we wish to keep out of the bottom product. The heavy key component will be the one we wish to keep out of the top product. The recovery of the light key or the concentration of the light key in the overhead

Figure 14 (A) Total and (B) minimum reflux in binary distillation

product must be specified, as must the recovery of the heavy key or the concentration of the heavy key in the bottom product. Intermediate boiling components will distribute between the products.

A number of short-cut methods are available for the design of multicomponent distillation columns. Each considers different aspects of the design of multicomponent columns. Each of the short-cut methods involves some simplifying assumptions and the designer must be fully aware of these assumptions when applying these methods. One simplifying assumption, which all the methods have in common, is the assumption of constant relative volatility. The relative volatility for the feed composition can be calculated, but this might not be characteristic of the overall column. By making some assumption of the product compositions, the relative volatility at the top and bottom of the column can be calculated and a mean taken:

Fenske Equation

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Solar Panel Basics

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